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Pascack Valley School Split Study Funded by Woodcliff Lake, Report Says

Woodcliff Lake officials have said they believe they and Montvale pay for Hillsdale and River Vale students in the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

Woodcliff Lake officials voted earlier this month to fund a study examining the potential split-up of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, according to a report on NorthJersey.com.

The Montvale and Woodcliff Lake councils both passed resolutions earlier this year to withdraw from the district, saying that they pay a higher rate per student than the other two towns. Officials have said a plan outlined in a 2009 study showed that they could withdraw from the district in order to save money.

The original study reported that Montvale could take Pascack Hills High School and have Woodcliff Lake as a sending district, while Hillsdale could take Pascack Valley High School and have River Vale as a sending district. 

Executive County Superintendent Robert Gilmartin asked for an update to the 2009 study before he would make a recommendation. The Woodcliff Lake Council budgeted $30,000 for the new study, according to the report. Montvale officials have been more reluctant to spend the money.

Hillsdale Mayor Max Arnowtiz told Patch that the borough is still working with River Vale on their own study. The split would likely end up hurting local students, he said.

"I think they're being unreasonable," Arnowtiz said.

The 2009 study was made following a state-wide change in the way regional school districts are funded. The amounts each town has to pay to regional districts are determined by the assessed value of the whole municipality. 

The change "has forced Montvale and Woodcliff Lake to subsidize the education of the high school students from Hillsdale and River Vale," according to the 2009 study.

Gilmartin previously said that he would examine both studies and make a report with his recommendation for the state Department of Education's commissioner.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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